Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Nipah virus outbreak contained in Kerala: Minister

Nipah virus outbreak contained in Kerala: Minister

The UAE and Bahraini governments are urging their citizens in Kerala and elsewhere in south India to exercise caution following a deadly Nipah virus outbreak that has killed at least 10 people. Experts and reports stated that while no vaccine or cure is available at the moment but preventive measures can be a key to controlling the spread of the Virus.

Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats or from other NiV-infected people and people have been also cautioned that they should not consume fruits that have fallen on to the ground. The result of the bats collected from the well of Moosa suspected to be infected with the virus will be revealed on Friday. The Cabinet reviewed the steps taken to contain the disease.

All animal samples, together with these from bats, cattle, goats and pigs from the southern state of Kerala, despatched to the Nationwide Institute of Excessive Safety Animal Ailments, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, had been unfavourable for Nipah, stated animal husbandry officer A. Mohandas.

Kerala is on high alert over the infection and two control rooms have been opened in Kozhikode. The advisory has also asked the administration to ensure availability of isolation and emergency management facilities before referral. The Kerala PSC decision will apply to all districts from the state.

Over ten people have died in Kerala after coming in contact with the virus which is spread by fruit bats and pigs who happen to be the main carriers of the deadly disease. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

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The virus was first identified in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998.

The major treatment for infected is "Intensive Supportive Care", according to United Nations health body.

This can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis. However, given the vast number of viral infections, it is recommended that you don't panic each time someone coughs or experiences respiratory problems, and instead, get a thorough check-up done. If not taken care of, these symptoms can even cause a coma in a span of 24-48 hours. The incubation period (interval from infection to the onset of symptoms) is believed to range between from 4-14 days. People working in close proximity with animals are especially at risk.

The Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday that Nipah virus had infected 18 people and killed 11 of them in Kerala.

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